Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (Sexual Cultures)

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Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (Sexual Cultures)

Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (Sexual Cultures)

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In the other new essay, ‘Race, Sex, and the Incommensurate: Gary Fisher with Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’, Muñoz utilises incommensurability as a way of thinking about queer politics. there is something to the juxtaposition of what is-now and what can be or is-but-isn't-the-whole-world-it-just-is-in-this-moment that is beautiful in a sad way. Crucially, he insists that within queer utopia, hope is in a dialectical tension with its opposite, disappointment; one cannot exist without the other. He discusses the uneasy reception to the 1996 book Gary in Your Pocket, written before Fisher’s death from AIDS-related complications in 1994, and edited by his graduate supervisor and friend Sedgwick. Building on the queer-of-colour critique developed in his previous book, Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics, Cruising Utopia was situated at the intersection of performance studies, critical utopianism and a then-emergent literature on queer temporality.

He insists that even in eras of failure and tragedy for the movement, by reflecting on utopian movements of the past and looking towards the future, we can retain hope of our queer utopia arriving. Book Review: Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (10th Anniversary Edition) by José Esteban Muñoz". These pages have described aesthetic and political practices that need to be seen as necessary modes of stepping out of this place and time to something fuller, vaster, more sensual, and brighter.In this turn towards futurity, Muñoz finds no common ground with a neoliberal vision of queer liberation predicated on LGBT integration into problematic institutions like marriage or the military.

Joshua Chambers-Letson is Associate Professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University and author of After the Party: A Manifesto for Queer of Color Life (2018). I was under the impression that the 'problematic' part of marriage was that men used it to exploit women.

of course in between the two is Delaney's scifi, and his memoirs and writings of gay public orgies and other liminal spaces where straight time is almost forgotten, and the skin between here-now and a better world is thin. that really helped me think about camp, and care about the concept of camp, in a way i hadn't before.

Refusing to simply sign on to the ‘anti-relational,’ anti-future brand of queer theory espoused by Edelman, Bersani and others, Muñoz insists that for some queers, particularly for queers of color, hope is something one cannot afford to lose and for them giving up on futurity is not an option. munoz is saying that queer performance is also almost-unreal, it's working not on 'straight time' (term munoz borrows for i guess the whole heterenormative capitalist hegemony), and in that way also points to how not-set the current reality is and points towards a queer future. like when you leave the theater or art show are you really any closer to actionable material revolution or anything like it. suvin is saying that scifi's unreal points both at a de-realized current reality and points towards how it could be different.It might seem odd that a book about futurity is so firmly situated in the past, but for Muñoz, queerness’s utopian potential ‘can be distilled from the past and used to imagine a future’ (1). The academic nonsense the majority of the book falls prey to is the worst kind: constantly outlining justifications and clarifications of non-points in anticipation of criticism from other theory-saturated navel-gazers.

On the anniversary of its original publication, this edition includes two essays that extend and expand the project of Cruising Utopia , as well as a new foreword by the current editors of Sexual Cultures, the book series he co-founded with Ann Pellegrini 20 years ago. For an academic text, I found this to be pretty readable, and while I struggled a little when Muñoz was talking about dance and movement, his explication of queer literature and songs (I will never see "Take Ecstasy With Me* the same way) was superb. I mostly really liked his choice of case studies/subjects and how he picked art, stories, and cultural artifacts that he liked and believed in and built his book around them.LA and its scene helped my proto-queer self, the queer child in me, imagine a stage, both temporal and physical, where I could be myself or, more nearly, imagine a self that was in process, a self that has always been in the process of becoming.



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